Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t backs down on ‘samdech’ directive

Gov’t backs down on ‘samdech’ directive

Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at the 25th World Economic Forum in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur earlier this year. AFP
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at the 25th World Economic Forum in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur earlier this year. AFP

Gov’t backs down on ‘samdech’ directive

Prime Minister Hun Sen has U-turned on a directive to media outlets to use the honorific “samdech”, less than a day after the Ministry of Information issued a final warning to non-complying media.

In a comment on his Facebook page on Friday, Hun Sen wrote: “The exact title of a government leader is not necessarily required when writing if the media don’t want to use it. But please write in a way that respects the code of ethics and with proper sources in order to avoid inaccurate information.”

The change of heart came a day after Global Witness published a new report exposing the prime minister’s family’s vast business empire.

Ministry of Information spokesman Ouk Kimseng confirmed the title “samdech”, meaning “outstanding leadership and love from the people”, was no longer to be imposed by the government.

Cambodian Centre for Independent Media executive director Pa Nuong Thea welcomed the move, saying forcing journalists to use “samdech” violated their freedom of choice.

Additional reporting by Vong Sokheng

MOST VIEWED

  • PM responds to Rainsy ticket claims

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday expressed frustration over claims by Sam Rainsy that he had altered Rainsy’s ticket with Thai Airways to prevent him boarding his November 7 flight to Thailand, from where he had claimed he would enter Cambodia. Hun Sen made the

  • Phnom Penh International Airport wins award as passenger traffic soars

    The Phnom Penh International Airport has been awarded Best Asia Pacific Regional Airport 2019 for its sustained high growth in passenger traffic in recent years. The award was presented by the Capa Centre for Aviation (Capa) – a world-leading and trusted organisation that provides market intelligence to

  • PM urges ‘democracies’ to learn from horrors Cambodia faced

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday chided countries that he said declared themselves a democracy while supporting a military coup that eventually gave birth to the Khmer Rouge regime. Speaking during the 2nd Asia-Pacific Summit at the Peace Palace, Hun Sen said without naming those

  • Princess Buppha Devi passes away aged 77

    Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, who was famous for her skills and key roles behind the Kingdom’s Royal Ballet, passed away on Monday from unspecified illness at a hospital in the Thai capital Bangkok, according to the official Facebook page of King Norodom Sihamoni. “May

  • PM: Request for release of plotters not due to pressure

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday said his request to have the supporters of former opposition leader Sam Rainsy and his “coup plot” released on bail was not made under international pressure. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of 34 roads in Preah Sihanouk

  • Ministry deplores RFA report on EBA

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Friday deplored as fake news a Radio Free Asia (RFA) report that it had received a copy of the European Commission’s assessment on the human rights situation in Cambodia as part of the Everything But